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Roman PalmyraIdentity, Community, and State Formation$
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Andrew M. Smith II

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199861101

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199861101.001.0001

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Framing the Narrative

Framing the Narrative

(p.1) 1 Framing the Narrative
Roman Palmyra

Andrew M. Smith II

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the expression of Palmyrene identity, both in an individual and in a group sense, in inhabited space, as evident in archaeological remains, inscriptions, and literary sources. Two perspectives are offered. The first sees Palmyra as peripheral to the centers of Roman and Parthian power, yet more bound at the communal level by Roman authority and, however remotely, within Rome’s administrative reach. The second perspective views Palmyra as a center of its own network of power and influence, in which the Palmyrenes maintained an array of social, economic, political, and cultural relations with a host of “others” that shaped the city’s historical development and gave great distinctiveness to their individual and group identities. The discussions then turn to a framework for constructing Palmyrene identity and community; state formation at Roman Palmyra; literary sources about Roman Palmyra; and a summary of Palmyra’s history and urban development.

Keywords:   Roman Palmyra, palmyrene identity, Roman authority, group identity, community, state formation, urban development, history

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